Parent Council FAQ’s

Q: Who is eligible to run for Parent Council?
A: Any parent of a John Wanless student. It has been unwritten practice at John Wanless that eligibility for the executive be a year of regular attendance on council, to indicate dedication to the job but also to learn how Council operates.

Q: What are the Parent Council's main goals?
A: The parent body is able to offer both human and financial resources - After 4, curriculum support, classroom grants etc - that extend and enrich all students’ learning experiences. Disagreements between individuals or groups of parents and Board or School policy should be taken up outside of Council.

Q: How long is the typical “term” in a position on Council?
A: Council positions require a minimum of one year commitment. In practice, Chair, Treasurer and Fundraising Chair(s) are encouraged to retain their seats for a minimum of two years, due to the complexity and forward planning necessary for Council success. If an elected Chair would like to carry over to the following year, it had been past practise for parent to continue on, barring any other interested parties. Should there be more than one parent interested in volunteering to chair a position, Council often offers a co-chairing opportunity.

Q: Do parents always vote for Council?
A: In the past, the outgoing Council voted the new Council in. In practice, there is not usually competition for volunteer positions - if you want a role, generally there will be one - and elections have not been necessary. However, we decided to hold our first election for executive (chair / vice chair) this year (2016), as there are multiple contenders.

Q: Do you also need to complete a nomination form if you want to sit on one of the committees?
A: No. Just contact the committee chair for details on a meeting time. We love new parent volunteers!

Q: Are the people that sit on the various committees considered part of the Council or only the Executives?
A: Only chairs (Communications, Extra Curricular, School Support ect.) have a voting position on Council.

Q: If I want to be chair of the committee, who do I approach?
A: Approach the current chair of Council, or the current chair of the committee and express your interest. This is a volunteer organization and we can always use help! Often chairs of positions stay on for more than a year because a) they know what the job entails and b) it gives the opportunity to share the responsibilities and / or to train new people.

Q: I understand that executive is elected by the parent body, but who votes the Council chairs in?
A: The new Council. The first motion of the new Council in Sept/Oct is to vote the new committee chairs in.

Q: What is the work load of being on Council?
A: It really depends on the position and what’s needed that year, but as all work is volunteer in nature - you give what you can. Meetings are typical held on the last Monday of the month, throughout the school year (except for December and March) and run for about two hours. Committees will meet separately, usually ad hoc to get specific tasks / events organized.

Q: Is Parent Council a good place to effect change in the school and / or the ministry of education?
A: Absolutely! Although parents must remember that the Parent Council is strictly advisory. If you have a fundamental problem with the TDSB, the curriculum or the school administration, we advise parents to raise questions/concerns with the relevant parties. The Parent Council is a partnership between the school administration and parents and our goal is to be collaborative rather than confrontational.